Letters to our Children – August

Dear Ariya,

August has been a pretty chill month.  You wrapped up your swimming lessons with Asher at the Winchester Country Club.  You went down the slide for the first time and attempted to swim on your own.  But I think we need to work a little on your swim strokes.  You like to put your face in the water, but only on your terms.

We’ve also gone to the playground a few times.  It’s been so hot though, so it hasn’t been that often.  So we’ve spent a lot of time indoors, where it’s air conditioned.  You are ever so active, running around, jumping off the couch, acting like a superhero.  You’re a great helper and big sister to baby Asha.  You’re always holding her and giving her your toys.  You’re also taking a lot of your toys away from her, but we’re working on your sharing.

You had your first movie experience!  We all went to see Finding Dory and you LOVED it!  We had popcorn and lemonade.  Asha took her nap in the ergo.  And you only got up once to pee in the potty.  I’d say it was a success!  Can’t wait to see our next movie.

Nani and Nanu came to visit.  You loved doing puzzles with them and showing them your yoga skills.  Nanu even did some yoga with you!

 

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Dear Asha,

You’re CRAWLING!  You are seriously crawling, and it’s crazy how fast and determined you are.  I will turn around for a second and you’re at the other side of the room.  Now we have to watch out when Ariya pulls out her puzzles, because you love chewing on those puzzle pieces!

You’re eight months now.  We had your 8 month check up and learned that you’re not gaining any weight.  The same thing happened with Ariya at 6 months.  So now it’s time to supplement your diet with formula.  I always hoped that I’d at least nurse you for 6 months, even a year.  When we passed the 6 month mark, I thought, wow, maybe we can do this, maybe we can make it to a year? Unfortunately, this is not the case. I have so many thoughts about this.  I’m sad.  I feel like my little baby is growing too fast.  I’ll miss our moments of nursing together.  The quiet, the calm, the bond we have.  I talked to 3 lactation consultants, just to understand how it all works and where it went wrong for me.  It’s interesting how everyone’s nursing experience is different.  I may have to make this a personal photography project of mine, documenting the women that have trouble nursing successfully (and what successful means to them).  But that’s for another blog post.

I think your first tooth is coming in!  I can feel it, just ready to break through.  Wow, you’re growing so fast.  Can we please freeze time just for a little bit?  I’m not ready for you or your sister to get bigger and bigger.

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All these pictures are an assortment of film and digital.

 

Project 365 Film edition – May 2016

So, as I’ve said in past blog posts about film, I’m obsessed.  like OBSESSED!  I’ve shot a TON of film.  Picking the best 30 or 31 for each month is no problem.  I probably have enough for the rest of the summer, and it’s barely started.  I’ve shared a ton on instagram, so if you feel like checking me out there, the link is here.

Recently, I submitted a few photos to the Analog story.  I wanted to share my story, why I shoot film.  Best decision I ever made, committing to shooting film.  Unfortunately, my husband is starting to wonder what all is involved (cost of film, cost of development, etc).  But then he loves the prints that come back.  So I’d say it’s well worth it.

Here are a few of my favorites from this month. Some Portra 160, Portra 160NC, Portra 400, Lomo 800, Fuji 400h.  Shot with Nikon f100, Pentax 6×7 and Mamiya 645AF.

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Project 365 Film edition – April 2016

This project focused solely on film has become so much bigger than I thought it would.  I’m obsessed.  The loading of the film, the guessing with the metering (I’m too lazy to pull out my handheld meter most of the time, a goal of mine is to get better at metering accurately), deciding what to rate the film at, if I’m going to push it, shoot without knowing if I got the shot, or how it will look after it’s developed, the process of packing up the film to mail out and be developed by a film lab, the anticipation of getting that email saying that my scans are ready to be downloaded, clicking on the link, and loving close to every one of my photos.  No joke.  This is a serious love affair.  I have BARELY touched my dslr b/c I’ve been OBSESSED with film.  Like, really obsessed.  Any way, I’m not going to bore you with my all of my film shots, b/c they’re mostly of family.  But I will post a few of my favorites from this month. If you follow me on instagram, you most likely have already seen these pictures, as I was too excited to wait until this blog post to share.  But if you haven’t seen these, well here you go!

Nikon f100, fuji200

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Nikon f100, portra 800

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Nikon f100, fuji 400h

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Nikon f100, ilford xp2

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Project 365 Film edition – March 2016

I’m so in love with film.  So in love.  I’m learning a ton, and I still have a LONG way to go.  But shooting film just fits with my lifestyle right now.  one thing I’m starting to hate is the time I spend on my laptop.  When it was just Ariya, I had plenty of time to sit down after her bed time and just hang out on the laptop, upload pictures, edit, etc.  Now, with a baby…forget about it.  Asha only naps for 30 minutes at a time in her crib.  She can be high maintenance at night.  And honestly, I’m just tired. At night,  I just want to sit down, watch my favorite tv show, hang out with the hubs actually have a conversation.  So the only time I want to spend on the laptop is if I’m typing up a blog post.  Like right now.  Right now, my husband and I are catching up on the OJ mini series.  Ariya is in bed, Asha is swaddled and in his arms.  And I”m catching up on blogging.

So, a few days late, but here are a few pictures from March on film.

Mamiya 645 and Portra 160

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Mamiya 645 and Kodak 400vc (Had I known how awesome this film was, I would have treated this differently.  But now I’m on the hunt for more VC. If you have any, send some my way)

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Nikon f100 and fuji 800.  This was old expired film that my mom gave me.  I didn’t know how to rate expired film, or if I should tell the lab to push it.  Had I known, I would have done things differently.  But now I know, and have some more expired film that I plan to experiment with.

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Mamiya C330 and fuji 400h

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Mamiya 645 and Portra 800

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Nikon f100 and Portra 400 rated at 200

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That’s it for March!  I’ve got plenty more for April.  This 365 project is going much better than my digital version, that’s for sure.  But, I refuse to give up!

Project 365 Film edition – February 2016

I survived the 2nd month of this film 365.  I tried 2 different things this month.  I tried pushing film and I tried using the lensbaby sweet 35 on my Nikon f100.  I’m not sure if I was successful, but at least I tried 🙂  I still don’t know what I’m doing (I don’t know if I ever will), but I’m having fun trying! And for the record, I’m having a hard time taking a photo every day.  so my rule for this project is to get at least a decent photo for each day of the month.  I may get a few decent photos on one day, nothing on the next day, maybe a few more dent photos in one day, etc.  The only way I can keep this project going.

Tri-X 400 +2 on Nikon f100, using the lensbaby sweet 35

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Tri-X 400 on Pentax 6×7 with 105mm lens

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Portra 160 on Mamiya 645 and 80mm lens58_022716 59_022816 60_022916

My first film Project 365 – January 2016

So, I fell in love with film some time last year.  Within that time, I’ve acquired a lot of film and a few (ok, a lot of) film cameras.  Somehow I developed a fear of shooting film in manual.  I was always ok with a point and shoot.  I shot film a ton in high school, I just let the camera make all the decisions.  After taking a workshop last year, I got into it…and then I stopped.  I took ANOTHER workshop late last year, got into it…and then stopped.  What was wrong with me?  The fear was there.  So I thought for 2016, in addition to my regular digital project 365, I’d do a film 365.  I’m crazy, I know.  BUT, I really want to know these cameras and these film stocks inside and out.  I want to get comfortable with metering.  And I figured this would be the best way to do it.

I won’t post all 31 pictures for this month.  There were  a few successes and a few failures.  I’ll go ahead and post a few of both, b/c I need to document this progress.  I also need to go back through my notes to see why some of these photos worked and some didn’t.

I also have 2 rolls of black & white film still in development (at the FIND lab).  So look out for another blog post from me soon.

Here goes (and yes, I know more than a few are blurry and aren’t that awesome.  but not every photo can be awesome right?  and yes, most of these photos will be of my girls while I try to figure this film thing out):

Mamiya C330 with fuji 400h

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Nikon F100 with Portra 800

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Seattle Film Works

Ever since my foray into film, I’ve been trying to read as many articles, take as many workshops and join as many Facebook pages dedicated to film as I could.  I joined the film mama | the forum Facebook page a while back for the eye candy, and to learn as much as I could.  One day, a very kind Facebook member, Gretchen Willis of Gretchen Willis Photography came into a TON of Seattle Film Works film.  I can’t remember how she got it, but she was offering to send it out as an experiment, which would later turn into a blog circle.  I had no idea what I was doing, I still had no clue how to use a meter, and just used my Nikon f100’s internal camera meter to expose.  But I thought, what the heck, let’s see what I can do.  And surprisingly, the results were decent!  Here are a few photos of our excursion at Great Country Farms and Woodbine Farms.

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To follow the blog circle and see some amazing work, please click here.

 

The Film & Roots Workshop Review Part 2

A few weeks ago, I had written Part 1 Review of the Film & Roots Workshop here.  For the afternoon session, we did a family session.  I decided to try some B&W film and used Kodak Tri-X 400.  I’ve never shot black and white film before, and this experience was interesting.  There were some situations where I was like “oh man, I wish I had color film to capture this really neat sun flare”.  But it was cool to see how the shadows and contrast translated in the film.  I underexposed quite a few frames, but hey, this was my first time, so I give myself a pass.  Anyway, if you want to find out more about this workshop, click here.  Without further ado, here are my favorite shots from this session.

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The Film & Roots Workshop Review Part 1

I’ve always loved capturing moments.  First with a point and shoot olympus film camera in high school, and then on to a Nikon dslr.  As I’ve reflected on my personal journey of photography, I’ve always found an appeal with film photography.  The fear of loading the film correctly, not knowing whether I got the shot or what it will look like, the anticipation as I send my roll in to be developed, receiving the prints or scans and reliving that day.  It’s a great feeling.  As I’m learning more and more about photography and editing, I long for a simpler time, where I don’t have to spend as much time in front of the laptop, staring at a photo, trying to get it right.

Some time last year, I “met” Jennifer Warthan through Facebook, on one of the film Facebook groups.  I’ve always loved her work, and when I saw that she was offering a workshop, I jumped at the chance!  I won a Nikon F100 off ebay and shot a roll of film, playing around with the settings.  I still need to send that in to be developed,  I had no idea what I was doing!  Thank goodness for Jennifer!

The workshop was amazing.  It was from 10am – 6pm, set in the beautiful peanut country of Waverly VA, at Jennifer’s cottage.  There were 2 other lovely ladies in the workshop along with me, so it was nice and intimate.  Jennifer provided breakfast, lunch and snacks, refreshments, and we had everything we need to feel right at home.  But I was anxious to jump in.  As soon as we entered the cottage, there was a table FULL of different film cameras and film stock.  And I was drooling.  Just 2 days after attending the workshop, I’m already searching for a medium format camera.  Jennifer went through the difference between 35mm and medium format cameras, and then moved on to the different film stocks out there.  She had an easy way of explaining how to apply the exposure triangle to film.  It was hard not to trust my camera sensor and to let go.

Shortly after our discussion, our sweet model Ally came.  She was the perfect model, up for anything.  I already had Kodak Ultramax 400 loaded in my Nikon f100, so I used that roll for part of the session.  Then, as we moved outdoors into the full sun, I switched to Kodak Ektar 100.  And throughout the morning session, every time I took a picture, I would look at the back of the camera to see how it came through.  The anticipation was killing me.  However, shooting film did cause me to slow down, really think about what I wanted to shoot, carefully compose and then go for it.

After our morning session, we broke for lunch.  Jennifer showed us how to develop our film, which was pretty cool stuff.  Not sure if I trust myself to develop my own film just yet, but it was neat to know that I could if I wanted to.  She then scanned our film rolls using her Pakon scanner.  It was amazing seeing some of the shots that we took.  It really was like Christmas, the anticipation, not knowing if any pictures came out ok. There were definitely more than a few keepers.  The colors were amazing!  The detail in the sky came through.  Honestly, I did not have to do much for post processing.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

These are Kodak Ultramax 400.

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These are Kodak Ektar 100

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Watching the pro in action

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We shot a family session for the afternoon.  I thought I’d try a black and white film stock, Tri-X 400, I believe.  I hope they turned out ok,  I still need to send it in to be scanned.  I’ll keep you posted!

If you’re in or around the Waverly, VA area, you have got to check this workshop out!  You can find more info here.  You won’t regret it!